Michelle is an MSc student at The University of Edinburgh. She is an aspiring freelance writer who has lived in Edinburgh for the past 4 years, and is very familiar with the city. Visit her blog https://meanderingmichelle.wordpress.com/ for more.
Published November 21st 2017
Excellent coffee and amazing brunch close to George Square
Thomas J. Walls is a relatively recent edition on the Edinburgh coffee scene, having opened its doors during the festival last year. Situated on Forrest Road between the National Museum and the George Square campus, it is popular with both students and lecturers alike.
The premises were originally an opticians and the coffee shop has preserved its name. This includes the original brass lettering and shop logos, which cleverly incorporates some spectacles. It is a large coffee shop, with space for large groups. They have plenty of seating in the front of the café, with some comfier and more spacious options at the back – including a couple of couches and armchairs, and a long table. The interior decoration has a retro feel, with dark wooden panels and stained-glass details. With high ceilings and a classy look, Thomas J. Walls feels distinctly modern and hip.
In addition to its coffee, Thomas J. Walls has some excellent all-day brunch options. These include scrambled eggs on toast with asparagus and smoked salmon, avocado on toast with feta and a poached egg, rosti and poached egg roll, yoghurt and granola, and an excellent rosti with smoked salmon, spinach, poached eggs and hollandaise sauce. They also have freshly made soups and sandwiches, and a variety baked goods on offer.
I had the rosti and a cappuccino, and while the coffee was excellent (from Square Mile Coffee Roasters), it was more expensive than other coffee shops nearby. However, it is definitely a place I will return to, if only to sample some more of their brunch options.